“On the shelf life of democracy in journalism scholarship.” Journalism, 2013.

Barbie Zelizer

Scholarship on journalism has long privileged a journalistic world that is narrower than that which resides on the ground. Perhaps nowhere is this as much the case as with the placement of democracy in discussions of the news and the role it has played in driving and shaping journalism scholarship. This article argues that democracy has long occupied a more central role than it deserves when considering the news, and that its centrality primarily in western scholarship has negatively impacted existing understandings of journalism in their broadest possible parameters. Maintaining that democracy in journalism scholarship has over-extended its shelf life, the article calls for a retirement of the concept as a key term for understanding journalism.

Published in Volume 14, Issue 4, pages 459-473